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Showing posts from May, 2020

Updates on Carcass Disposal Resources for Swine Producers

The MN Board of Animal Health (MNBAH) has updated its carcass disposal resources for swine producers. There are centralized carcass disposal sites that are free for producers to dispose of their pigs. Producers must contact the MNBAH to setup a drop-off appointment.
Connect with MN BAH Call Carcass Assistance Hotline at 651-201-6041 to:
Ask questionsSchedule one-on-one consultation about carcass disposal optionsSchedule drop-off at a centralized site
Individuals can also fill out MNBAH online form to request a call back from them.
Other resources MN BAH can help withMN BAH has a list of companies willing to contract haul carcasses if you don't have a truck to haul carcasses. View their list of trucking contacts.MN BAH has a list of companies selling wood chips or other composting material. View their list of carbon contacts.

COVID-19 Impacts: Managing Market Hogs Destined for Local Meat Lockers

By: Lee Johnston, swine Extension specialist, Pedro Urriola, swine associate professor and Sarah Schieck Boelke, swine Extension educator
The Situation:  COVID-19 has disrupted pig harvest at commercial packing plants in the spring of 2020. Pig farmers are offering live pigs at or near market weight to neighbors, consumers, and community members at very low prices. Consumers that purchase live pigs are arranging harvest and processing at local meat lockers. A list of small locker plants can be found on Minnesota of Department of Ag's website. Due to great demand on meat locker services, consumers may need to wait several days to several weeks before pigs can be harvested. During this wait, consumers will need to care for heavy pigs to maintain pig welfare, control pig growth to prevent them from getting too big, and preserve pork quality. Below are some tips to achieve these objectives assuming pigs weigh at least 240 lbs.

Feeding: Commercial diets: The best solution is to…

Episode 16: Nutritional Strategies to Slow Growth of Pigs During Special Circumstances

Sarah Schieck Boelke, swine Extension educator is joined with Lee Johnston, University of Minnesota swine nutrition faculty and Pedro Urriola, University of Minnesota swine nutrition faculty in a discussion about nutritional strategies to slow growth of pigs during these special circumstances of pork packing plant closures due to COVID-19.

Listen to the podcast:z.umn.edu/PodcastEpisode16(recorded May 1, 2020) Learn More About Information Shared in the PodcastCheck out the article What to do if your pork packing plant is closedposted on UMN Swine Extension blogCheck out other COVID-19 resources for pork producers on UMN Swine Extension blog

Podcast: At the Meeting. . .

Dr. Montserrat Torremorell (College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota), Dr. Gordon Spronk (Pipestone Veterinary Services), and Dr. Tom Wetzell (Swine Veterinary Consultant) have been busy recording podcasts in collaboration with SwineCast to discuss the COVID-19 situation and how it is affecting the pork industry.

Farm & rural stress resources

During these difficult times, it is important for farmers to take care of themselves and their families. The University of Minnesota Extension’s farm and rural stress programs offer resources for those dealing with farming’s current challenges and struggles.

The Minnesota Farm and Rural Helpline (833-600-2670) can be called 24/7 for a confidential and free chat with trained staff and volunteers. Other Minnesota Department of Ag farm and rural stress resources can be found on their website.

Mobile crisis teams are available in every Minnesota county with crisis team counselors who are able to respond quickly and provide in-person, short-term counseling or mental health services during a crisis or emergency. Calls are answered immediately 24 hours/day.

CARES Act & Families First

The Minnesota and federal government have recently passed several major economic stimulus acts related to the COVID-19 response. The laws have major financial implications for individuals and businesses, including farmers. University of Minnesota Extension Ag Business Management Educator Megan Roberts wrote COVID-19 response: How the Families First and CARES Act affect farm businesses. Check it out to learn more and how to apply. The initial funding of $349 billion ran out in less than 14 days, so be sure to act on it sooner rather than later.

MPCA regulatory flexibility for COVID-19

With the COVID-19 crisis resulting in closures of pork processing plants, pig farms are experiencing bottleneck of live pigs. To accommodate this bottleneck of pigs on farms, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has created a fact sheet providing guidance on how to notify the MPCA with requests via the COVID-19 email portal for approval to exceed permit numbers or exceed 1,000 animal units without obtaining an NPDES or SDS permit in total confinement facilities for up to 45 days. This guidance is specific to swine. Here is a PDF document of a template to use when submitting your request.

MDA assists livestock producers find other market opportunities

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is working to identify opportunities for livestock owners who need meat processing assistance for a small number of animals (5-10) due to pork packing plant closure. Options include plants that could move from “custom” to “equal to” and federally inspected processors that may have extra capacity.

If producers need animal processing help they should contact
Jim Ostlie: 320-842-6910; jim.ostlie@state.mn.usCourtney VanderMey: 651-201-6135; Courtney.VanderMey@state.mn.us

NRCS emergency animal mortality program

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is offering financial and technical assistance to livestock producers for animal mortality disposal resulting from impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Producers facing livestock depopulation should contact their local NRCS field office with any questions and to file for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) by submitting an application to their local NRCS field office. Applications are currently being accepted. Limited funds are available so contact your local NRCS field office sooner rather than later.

AASV guidelines for euthanasia & swine depopulation

Some pigs may need to be euthanized as a last resort option due to pork packing plant closure. Be sure to consult with your herd veterinarian and use euthanasia methods that comply with the current American Association of Swine Veterinary (AASV) guidelines for euthanasia in the On-Farm Euthanasia of Swine publication. The AASV has provided updated guidance related to swine depopulation.

Producers needing to depopulate due to pork packing plant closures should contact Minnesota Board of Animal of Health carcass disposal contact to be sure euthanasia methods are not only following AASV guidelines but more importantly, that carcass disposal methods are approved for Minnesota.

Carcass disposal resources

Before producers start depopulating because of packing plant closure they must contact Minnesota Board of Animal Health carcass disposal to be sure carcass disposal methods are approved for Minnesota.

The Minnesota Board of Animal Health (MN BAH) has a Carcass Disposal Resource Guide to help farmers know the options and methods of approved carcass disposal in Minnesota.

The MN BAH webpage for carcass disposal has contact information for disposal experts and rendering companies and information for different carcass disposal options.

USDA NAHMS Swine Study

By Diane DeWitte, Swine Extension Educator. Originally printed in The LAND – March 6/March 13, 2020

I recently saw a commercial on television encouraging me to participate in the upcoming 2020 Census, the count taken every ten years to determine our US population numbers and to collect demographic data. This is the Census year and undoubtedly we will all be asked to provide information about ourselves and our households. The USDA Ag Census is taken every five years, in those years ending in 2 or 7. The agriculture census recently has yielded a lot of important information about the age of our farming community, and the participation by female operators and immigrant farmers.

There’s an additional type of census that’s taken place in agriculture since 1983 which has a tremendous impact on perspectives of livestock health in the United States. Conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) this study takes an in-depth look at livestock operations, their management…